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Fay Sampson’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)



ROBERT SPINNER. The most likely parents for John Spinner of Northbourne and later of Deal, are Robert Spinner and Mary Ratclif who married in Northbourne in 1715. There is a burial in Northbourne on 24 Dec 1774 for Robert Spinner aged 90. If this is the same Robert Spinner he would have been born in 1684, making him 31 at the time of his marriage. This is a plausible age.
Unfortunately, the Northbourne baptisms between 1679 and 1695 are missing or illegible.
We have not found a suitable baptism elsewhere in Kent, though it may be in a parish whose early registers have not survived. There is evidence that John Spinner, who married in 1690 and had children baptised in Northbourne, came from Chillenden 3 miles west of Northbourne. A Robert Spinner was buried there in 1686. Chillenden could also be the origin of the younger Robert Spinner.

John Spinner was a husbandman. It is possible that this was Robert’s occupation too.

There are no Spinners in Northbourne in the 1664 Hearth Tax Assessment, which includes non-payers. This strengthens the argument that the Spinners, whom we first meet in Northbourne in the late 17th century, came from elsewhere.

 Northbourne is a village 3 miles east of Deal. The roots of its church date back to 618, only 21 years after St Augustine landed in Kent. The present flintstone church dates from 1120. It is dedicated to St Augustine of Canterbury. It has an unusual cruciform shape.

“The beautiful old church has a long history, and is on the site of one or the oldest places of Christian worship in England. St. Augustine landed at Ebbsfleet in AD597 some five miles away, and in 618 Edbald, newly crowned King of Kent, gave land at Northbourne. (thirty ploughs worth) to St. Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury.”

St Augustine’s, Northbourne [1]


In 1676 the population consisted of 218 Conformists, 12 Nonconformists and 0 Papists.[2]


MARY RATCLIF.  We have not been able to find  the baptism of Mary. The lack of other Ratclif entries in the Northbourne registers suggests that she was born elsewhere.


Robert Spinner married Mary Ratclif at St Augustine, Northbourne, on 27 Oct 1715. Both were residents of Northbourne.
There is also an entry for this marriage in the register for Sholden, St Nicholas, but it is in a list headed “Northborn’. Northbourne is two miles inland from Deal, while Sholden is on the northern fringe. The churches are two miles apart. Sholden is recorded as a chapel of Northbourne. Both were under the Abbey of St Augustine in Canterbury.

Baptisms. Sholden/Northbourne.
1718  Sep 7   John
1720 Dec 11  Robert. Robert lived no more than three days. He was buried on Dec 14
1722  1 Apr  Richard
1725  3 Oct  Robert

1730 Aug 23  Thomas
1732  Sep  24  William
1732/3 Jan 8 John son of Robert and Mary was buried. He was their eldest son and was aged 14.
Three years later, their last child was born and also christened John.
1735/6  Feb 1  John

It was common for churchwarden’s accounts to note money paid to parishioners from the rates for killing vermin which might damage the food supply.
“The accounts from Easter 1731 to Easter 1732 prepared by Daniel Golder list a number of ‘vermin’ bounties. Henry Marsh was paid 4d for a hedgehog, Robert ‘Spiner’ (Spinner) was paid 2s 4d for seven hedgehogs and Ann Fores 4d for a hedgehog. Hedgehogs of course do no harm but, in the past, superstition claimed that hedgehogs sucked milk from the teats of cows at night as they lay in the pasture. It was also said they ‘stole’ apples by rolling onto them and carrying them away stuck to their spines.”[3]

No Spinners are listed in the poll books for 1734 and 1754. Presumably the Spinners did not have the necessary property qualifications to vote.[4]

Mary lived well into middle age.

Mary, wife of Robert Spinner, was buried in Northbourne on 2 May 1756.

Robert lived long enough to see the following discovery in 1774:

“There is, at this Day, a Place, here, call’d St. Aus’tine’s Walk. EADBALD, son of ETHELBERT, the 5th (and 1st Xtian) King of Kent, had a Palace here; out of ye supposed Ruins of which, 2 very large Corbells of Stone, were in July 1774 dug, and presented to Me, by My Friend Richd. SANDYS Esq. (whose Family are the Possessors of Northbourne Court, where these Ruins are). One of them undoubtedly represents the Head of ETHELBERT, in whose Reign (viz: A.D. 597) St. Austine landed in Thanet and, the other, the Head of St. Austine himself. They seem to have serv’d as Imposts, to support some Arch, or Peice of Timber; and, were placed, about 15 Feet high, at ye West End of the Remains, of, what, is thought, formerly, to have been a Chapell, but which, for Time immemorial has had ye Appearance of an old, & long-neglected Pigeon House.”[5]

Robert Spinner was buried in Northbourne on 24 Dec 1774, aged 90.


[1] John E Vigars. http://www.kentchurches.info/images/Northbourne.JPG
[2] http:/freespace.virgin.net/Andrew.parkinson4/north.html
[3] http:/freespace.virgin.net/Andrew.parkinson4/north.html
[4] http:/freespace.virgin.net/Andrew.parkinson4/north.html
[5] www.Kentarchaeology.orguk/Research/Libr/MIs/MIsNorthbourne/01.htm




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